At TranslateAble we celebrate the global reach of the exhibition industry every day. Before launching TranslateAble, international events were my life for almost 20 years. It kept me on my toes, even down to just working out where in the world my office was that week/day. Boarding a plane for the umpteenth time that year could begin to lose its sparkle come December, but the part that never lost its sheen for me was the excitement of exploring a new city and venue for an event. I loved seeing how different yet similar the events world is from country to country: the U.S. using different vocabulary from the U.K., which surprised me (booths v stands, free build v space only), the dedication and precision of Singapore’s suppliers and how you’re never more than 100m from a PAUL in Parisian venues, which makes my taste buds very happy. There was always something new to learn.
However, as a language lover, a highlight of international events for me personally was coming away knowing that I had run an event AND I had run it in another language. This is what led to me to start TranslateAble, not just the love of languages but seeing first-hand the value they bring. All the services TranslateAble offers are services that I have personally sourced and managed at my own events throughout my 20 year career in the industry.
Translation was the first language service I purchased in events. Having since worked as a translator myself and studied for an MA in Translation, I can fully appreciate the level of work and process that’s needed to produce a translation that’s spot-on. On the flip side, I’ve also been the client and understand the importance of translations being fit for purpose, be it an exhibitor manual (people don’t read it in English, imagine trying to read it in your second language), sponsorship document or website. A 2020 survey found that “given the choice between buying two similar products, 76% of respondents will choose the one with information in their language” (CSA Research, 2020).
“Language facilitates relationship building and exhibitions are all about relationships and finding solutions”. This quote was from an event industry colleague who recently said she wished TranslateAble’s services existed when she ran events in China. “A language barrier restricts opportunities available to you, as it makes it more complicated to find solutions, especially when time pressure is involved”. An interpreter could have acted as the link to the culture, understanding what made people tick and helped find solutions more quickly and easily. Interpreters can be a versatile resource: virtual or in-person, assisting on a 1-2-1 basis or interpreting at a conference to a wider audience. For you this means you can just go ahead and source your rockstar speakers, no matter where they’re from, the interpreter will handle the rest. Less restrictions for you in terms of speaker recruitment and a greater amount of content accessible for your visitors.
Live captioning and subtitling, be it in English or other languages, can also contribute to accessibility and inclusivity, as well as widening the reach of your event, face-to-face or online.